The other day, I’ve had it once again. I was going to find a better paid-job, a funny, great, handsome man, and everything would change. I don’t have time to date and a job change was not looking too good either, so I hopped over to the next 7/11 and filled out a lottery ticket. It’s what you do, right?!
I believe everyone needs a 7/11 ritual even with the aforementioned job or person in sight. My ritual contains getting a lottery ticket and a cinnamon coffee with French vanilla creamer (2 shots). This evening, I was particularly upset since they had their whole selection – hazelnut coffee, Colombian coffee, blueberry coffee, decaf (yeah right)- nicely lined up… just no cinnamon. The Latina lady with the store’s iconic visor and T-shirt asked me if she could help me. I seriously doubted it, but gave it a try “Yeah, I’m looking for cinnamon”, “no cinnamon. Only morning”, she responded astutely. Ok. Figures. The guy next to her, a fellow customer, smirked at me, as if I had been upset that a dog had just peed on my Rolls Royce and he witnessed it. “Why cinnamon? That’s something I would never put together… coffee and cinnamon” he added while shaking his head. I’m sure he didn’t even want to strike up a conversation- he was visibly in his own world, stressed out after a long day, maybe he was a driver and had to deal with insubordinate customers all day long. Yet it’s still no reason to mock the cinnamon coffee.
I got to love cinnamon coffee when a friend of mine picked me up from a networking event one night in Culver City. He’s a driver and needs to stay awake in the wee hours sometimes, hence the caffeine. While I watched him as he poured cinnamon coffee into our cups at 7/11 and added vanilla creamer, it felt like a ritual. Rituals make me feel safe – like everything will be alright. With my cinnamon coffee in hand that night, I got into the car, happy that the networking was over (it really isn’t my cup of tea; yes, pun!), and I was comforted.
Today, I decided to let it go and opted for the second option with some kind of flavor (Hazelnut). It wasn’t the same.
I paid for my coffee and my lottery ticket, and made my way over to my loyal little bike that I had just fastened to the meter outside the store. The sun would set in exactly 5 minutes, which is how long it takes me to walk the bike and the coffee safely over to Ocean Blvd. to watch the sun dip into the Pacific.
It was a busy evening on Wilshire Blvd. The homeless were pushing their carts to safety; the druggies just smiled at the world, the normal people drove cars. I didn’t, as you may have noticed from the bike description earlier. I can, but… you know, the job situation.
Then I noticed a man sitting on a fire hydrant. He was holding up a sign made of cardboard that said “coffee”. Not “will work for food” or “ I just want money for booze”, simply“coffee”. I took my headphones out and asked “Really?”, noticing that I had just used the same tone of voice that the 7/11 guy had used on me while he shook his head at my request for cinnamon. Without awaiting the hydrant guy’s answer, I passed him my coffee cup, and walked on over toward the beach.
This is something that the 7/11 guy probably wouldn’t have done. Sometimes, you’re so lost in your own thoughts that other people’s preferences just throw you off. It’s nice to be pulled out of that loop every once in a while, stop for a second, give someone your coffee and call it a day.
That’s why cinnamon!